What Is the Best Way to Buy a Car Online?

The internet has changed a few things, hasn't it?

Once upon a time, you needed to leave your house to do "stuff". However, today we can do just about anything online, including buying a car.

The dealer will even deliver your new car straight to your door in some cases!

If you fancy saving yourself a trip and buying a car online, read our useful guide packed with everything you need to know.

Is it Safe to Buy a Car Online?

Fortunately, there is now even more protection in place for when you buy a car online than there is at a bricks-and-mortar dealership.

The Government established online consumer protection regulations in the Consumer Contracts Regulations (2013).

One of the key details involved all purchases having a 14-day cooling-off period, meaning the buyer can opt against keeping the goods bought. This is very much the case when you buy a car online, too. 

Buying a car means parting with a significant amount of money. In most people's cases, vehicles are the second-largest purchase they'll make after a house.

So, it’s understandable you might question whether it's safe to spend thousands of pounds purchasing a car online. 

If you want to make sure you are making a genuine car purchase over the internet, follow these tips:

Research the Dealership

Doing some research before purchasing a car online is a good idea to ensure you buy from a reputable dealer.

Look at reviews on good websites like Trustpilot. Explore their site to get a better idea of what they're like as a business, and the type of service you can expect. 

In the absence of face-to-face human interaction, the need for stellar customer service takes on even more importance.

Use a dealership that values providing a five-star service to its customers and lists all details about the cars online.

These details should include what comes with the vehicle, a complete list of features and any other relevant information. 

Get a Vehicle History Report

Once you've settled on an online dealership and have seen a car you like, it's time to get a vehicle history report. 

Known as an HPI check, this report provides a full breakdown of the vehicle's history, including whether it's subject to an existing finance arrangement or was previously in any serious accidents. 

You'll also get other information, such as the number of previous owners and sales or transfers between different dealerships.

Whether you're buying a car on or offline, you should always get an HPI check if the vehicle is used.

Be Aware of the Risks of Buying a Car Privately Online

Dealerships aren’t the only option you have when buying a car online. You can also find private car sales on sites such as eBay, Gumtree, and other private listings and auction sites.

While most are genuine sellers, unfortunately there are plenty of scammers out there too.

Many buyers have been caught out by fake ads or been swindled out of thousands of pounds because the car wasn’t as listed.

If you do want to buy privately, make sure you see the vehicle and give it a test drive before you make a purchase. You should also run it through an HPI check, just as you would when buying from a dealership.

If you take the right precautions, you can safely buy a car online. Dealerships tend to be the safest option, but even then, it’s important to do your research to find the best ones.

Can I Get Car Finance Online?

Many drivers get finance to help pay for their car, and fortunately, you can secure car finance online with Carmoola.

The process is super quick and only takes a few minutes to get a decision.

We’re the first car finance company to offer a fully online process - there are no phone calls or paperwork to fill in.

Just download the Carmoola app and get your budget within 60 seconds. If approved, you can buy your car from a range of dealerships both on and offline.

Then all that's left to do is make the monthly payments and enjoy your brand-new vehicle. 

Check out our reviews on Trustpilot to see the level of service you can expect when you choose our unbeatable online car finance.

Consider Delivery Options

Today, many online car retailers offer to deliver the vehicle to your home. This can help by eliminating travel time to the dealership, while giving you a hassle-free experience.

Simply sit back and wait for your new car to show up outside your door.

Of course, most online retailers also allow you to pick the car up from the dealership just in case that's your preferred method. 

What Are the Best Websites to Buy a Car Online?

Okay, so you've done the research and sorted out your finances. Now it's time to find a car online.

There are plenty of options for discovering your next motor on the web, and here is a selection of them to help you get started:

  • Auto Trader:The latest used classified site in the UK, Auto Trader tends to be the first port of call for drivers searching for a car online. Here, you can find cars from dealerships as well as privately sold vehicles
  • Cazoo: Browse through 250-plus used cars on Cazoo and buy your next vehicle. The website even offers a subscription option for leasing new and used cars. 
  • Carwow:You may know Carwow from its YouTube videos, where the legendary Matt Watson reviews the latest vehicles. Carwow operates a little differently from the rest: you select your desired car, and Carwow invites its partner dealers to make you an offer. 

Notable mentions include Cinch, PistonHeads, CarGurus and Heycar. Today's driver has never had a better selection of places to buy cars online. 

Drive Away from Your Keyboard

As a consumer, drivers have plenty of options for buying their next vehicle.

If you want to head to the dealership and view cars in person, that's certainly an option. However, technological improvements mean you can now find, finance, and buy a car all online.

Our finance can be used at thousands of trusted dealerships. 👍🚘

See what others have to say about Carmoola and read our glowing testimonials.

Begin your finance application with the Carmoola app.

If you have any questions, get in touch with our expert team.